The Unexpected Way Alex Guarnaschelli Amps Up Her Coffee

When it comes to your morning cup of Joe, do you prefer sugar and cream? Are you a latte drinker, or do you take your brew plain, straight from the pot? Regardless of how you choose to sip your caffeinated beverage, most people fancy their coffee a particular way.

Chef and native New Yorker Alex Guarnaschelli is no exception. When preparing her coffee, she told My Recipes, "I'm a real coffee drinker, of the highest order." Guarnaschelli explains that unless the coffee has sugar built into the drink, like a pumpkin spice latte, she enjoys coffee with milk or half and half. The "Chopped" judge proves her simplistic tastes in her Melted Coffee Ice Cream Latte recipe on the Food Network. The caffeinated drink consists of just three ingredients: espresso, coffee ice cream, and skim milk. It's a simple creamy espresso shot that relies solely on frothed milk and melted coffee ice cream to provide the delicious flavor.

Guarnaschelli loves coffee so much that in 2018 she was chosen to serve as Folgers Simply Gourmet Real Barista. According to Insider, her mission was to create new and repurposed coffee recipes using Folger's Simply Gourmet coffee.

She adds coffee to her coffee

You read that right; Alex Guarnaschelli adds coffee to her coffee. She told My Recipes, "I'll brew the coffee. The jar with the coffee with be sitting there, and I'll just take a pinch and sprinkle it right on my coffee and put the milk in. And I love that additional texture and burst of coffee. When you think about it, you have a thing of grounds, you pour water over it, and it comes to life. [With this] you hydrate the coffee, with the coffee itself."

If you think adding a sprinkling of coffee grounds to your cup of joe sounds silly, think again. Healthline says that snacking on coffee beans (chocolate-covered, maybe?) has the same health benefits as drinking the brewed version of the bean. They say that the bean delivers a more concentrated dose of caffeine. The effects, both positive and negative, are amplified. Healthline suggests munching in moderation to receive the positive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

What are the health benefits of coffee?

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, coffee may protect against certain types of disease. Along with that jolt of energy, coffee also provides health benefits. These perks (Pardon the pun!) include protection against heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, colorectal cancer, and Alzheimer's disease, among other things. Medline Plus says that most people can safely tolerate up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. It is important to remember that caffeine is also found in various food and drinks, such as tea, soda, energy drinks, and chocolate. There are, of course, times when limiting caffeine is wise. 

Medline Plus recommends talking to your healthcare provider if you have any condition that may require caffeine limitation. These conditions include pregnancy, sleep disorders, or high blood pressure. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), too much caffeine, whether from a cup of coffee or a handful of beans, may cause upset stomach and anxiety, among many other side effects.